Recent advances in machine learning and AI, including Generative AI and LLMs, are disrupting technological innovation, product development, and society as a whole. AI's contribution to technology can come from multiple approaches that require access to large training data sets and clear performance evaluation criteria, ranging from pattern recognition and classification to generative models. Yet, AI has contributed less to fundamental science in part because large data sets of high-quality data for scientific practice and model discovery are more difficult to access. Generative AI, in general, and Large Language Models in particular, may represent an opportunity to augment and accelerate the scientific discovery of fundamental deep science with quantitative models. Here we explore and investigate aspects of an AI-driven, automated, closed-loop approach to scientific discovery, including self-driven hypothesis generation and open-ended autonomous exploration of the hypothesis space. Integrating AI-driven automation into the practice of science would mitigate current problems, including the replication of findings, systematic production of data, and ultimately democratisation of the scientific process. Realising these possibilities requires a vision for augmented AI coupled with a diversity of AI approaches able to deal with fundamental aspects of causality analysis and model discovery while enabling unbiased search across the space of putative explanations. These advances hold the promise to unleash AI's potential for searching and discovering the fundamental structure of our world beyond what human scientists have been able to achieve. Such a vision would push the boundaries of new fundamental science rather than automatize current workflows and instead open doors for technological innovation to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing humanity today.

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